N. Korean Successor Likes Michael Jordan

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 2, 2009 6:45 PM CDT
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, in a 2004 file photo.   (AP Photo/Japan Pool, File)
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(Newser) – News that Kim Jong Il has settled on his youngest son as eventual successor begs the question, what's the new guy like? Details are predictably scarce, but from his days at a Swiss boarding school, where he befriended the kids of US diplomats, we know that 26-year-old Kim Jong Un speaks French and German, likes to ski, and admires Michael Jordan and Jean-Claude Van Damme, reports the Washington Post.

He reportedly left the school at age 15, having attended under a false name and pretended to be the son of an embassy driver. While in Switzerland, North Korean officials kept his socializing on a tight leash so he wouldn't be corrupted by the West. These days, he's said to be about 5-foot-10 and 200 pounds, with high blood pressure and diabetes. A book written by a former chef a few years ago calls him a "spitting image of his father in terms of face, body shape, and personality," notes the Guardian.